Obama’s Perpetual Demand

Hong Kong - Tsing Ma Bridge 青馬大橋

President Obama’s recent “You didn’t build that” gaffe has probably been taken out of context. He was not telling business owners they lack any responsibility in making their businesses, but that they hadn’t built the infrastructure — the roads and bridges, ect. — that are needed for businesses to reach customers.

Fair enough. But that is only because governments have monopolized many of those services, never mind that there is good reason to think that competition would ensure safer and less costly mass infrastructure.

I still think we can infer something from Obama’s comment. In his view, the fact that taxpayers have been goaded into funding corrupt, overly expensive infrastructure projects formalizes an unending personal debt from taxpayers to the government, just as Christians view original sin as creating a personal duty for which people must unquestionably submit to their all-powerful creator for penance.